DENVER — Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos waited eight long months, then another 33 minutes, to get the season started.
A record-tying seven touchdown passes – something no one had done in 44 years – made it worth the
Connecting with his most prized addition, Wes Welker, former college basketball player Julius Thomas and former Georgia Tech standout Demaryius Thomas for two TDs each, Manning directed Denver to a 49-27 victory over the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night in the NFL opener, a much-anticipated rematch against the team that ended the Broncos’ playoff run in January.
Manning, who was 27 of 42 for 462 yards, is the sixth QB in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game and the first since Joe Kapp did it for Minnesota against Baltimore on Sept. 28, 1969.
Manning, a four-time MVP, also tied Brett Favre’s NFL record with his 23rd career game with at least four TD throws, and Drew Brees’ mark with his seventh career five-TD performance.
All part of a thorough thrashing of the team that put a harsh end to what had looked like a Super Bowl-bound 2012 in Denver. The rematch came nearly eight months after Baltimore beat Denver 38-35 in double overtime on an icy January night in the same stadium.
The only thing that didn’t go right in the opener for the Broncos was when linebacker Danny Trevathan began his touchdown celebration a little too prematurely.
After an interception, Trevathan dropped the ball before he crossed the goal line. He picked off Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco’s pass early in the fourth quarter and had clear sailing to the end zone.
A few yards short, he began his celebration and dropped the ball. His teammates tried to recover it, but the ball scooted out of bounds, resulting in a touchback and giving it right back to the Ravens.
At least the Broncos were up, 42-17, at the time.
Trevathan, a third-year player out of Kentucky, protested at first but watched the replay on the big screen. He bent down and put his hands on his helmet in disgust.